Qualifications Needed to be an SNA in Ireland
The special needs assistant provides care to children with special needs. The major responsibility of the SNAs is to provide support to children of different ages suffering from disabilities. They work with teachers to promote or manage the growth of children with individual needs.
Moreover, the SNA can modify the broad educational curriculum so that the special needs of the children are met effectively. It requires high patient skills, acceptance, and efficient understanding to become a good special needs assistant.
In this handout, the students will get to know how to become special needs assistants and what tasks are performed by SNA.
Generally, the special needs assistant work under the guidance of the class teacher and school principal while supporting the child with individual needs. Being a teacher of a child with disabilities can be sometimes challenging for the SNA.
However, it is one of the most rewarding jobs. The special needs assistant offers a wide range of services to children who have cognitive disabilities, physical problems, emotional issues, or individual needs. So, the SNA should be physically as well as mentally prepared to assist the emotionally and physically challenged children.
What qualifications are required to become a special needs assistant?
The requirements to become a special needs assistant are licensed by each state so that SNA becomes eligible to teach at a public school. The certified teachers who want to become special needs assistants can pursue a Master’s degree in the field of special education.
However, many private schools often require a Bachelor’s degree. To qualify for the special needs assistant qualification, the individual must have a teacher preparation program approved by the state on their resume.
Following are the qualifications that are enough to become eligible for special needs assistant job:
- Having a student teaching internship in a special education
- Achieving a state-approved Master’s or Bachelor’s degree in special education
- Clearing the state’s required tests for special needs assistant
Is it possible to get a job as a Special Needs Assistant?
Supporting students with significant care requirements is a critical role for special education assistants (SNAs).
Teachers and principals assign them to a school and they work under their direction. The SNA usually provides care for several students in the school who have special needs.
As a result, most students with special educational needs will not require a special needs assistant while in school.
SNA support is available to students who meet certain criteria.
Several students may be eligible for SNA support.
- People with disabilities or medical conditions require extensive care, and the student’s performance has been deemed to be satisfactory by the student’s professors.
- They will need adult care because their needs are so great. To attend school and to learn to participate in the educational process.
These are students who require a higher level of care and attention than the average student. Class/subject teacher or another staff member using assistive technology in the classroom as well as adapting the school’s structure.
What tasks are performed by the special needs assistant?
The special needs assistant can teach either at the elementary school, middle school, or secondary school depending on their qualification status. Some of the SNAs have their classrooms to teach the child with special needs and some can work on a public or private group basis.
- The job of the special needs assistant includes assisting the school teachers in assessing and identifying the child who may have special needs or any disability.
- Similar to general education teachers, SNAs plan lessons, assign various activities to the child, and instruct them.
- Apart from it, the SNAs can also grade tests and various assignments for the child to track their progress.
- It is the responsibility of the special needs assistant to meet with the children’s parents and discuss the capabilities of their child and other challenges that the child may be facing.
- While working with the other school teachers, the SNA can adjust the lessons and other activities that fit perfectly to the special needs of children.
What skills are required to become a special needs assistant?
- Developing Individualized Education Programs (IEPs) is crucial for SNAs while instructing children with disabilities. The SNAs should be active every time while caring for the child with special needs as one child may require to be focused on reading, one on math skills, and so on.
- The special needs assistant needs to remain calm, patient, inspiring, accepting, and organized at the same time.
- The job of the SNA requires high interactions with the child who lack understanding or requires special attention.
- Good communication skills are a must to talk with children, their parents, and their counsellors to measure success.
Why are you doing this?
Special Needs Assisting is a rewarding career path for those with disabilities. To work with children with special needs, you’ll need to love working with children and have a genuine desire to do so. SNAs work in classrooms, but they do not teach. Meaning they help children with disabilities work and socialize with other kids. The goal is to promote diversity.
In addition, the SNAs provide assistance and support to the class teacher. In the first place, this involves performing several duties and routine tasks promptly. This includes accompanying children outside of the classroom, preparing and tidying the classroom, as well as assisting children in getting on and off of buses, among other things.
What’s the deal with this?
To become an SNA, most people must first complete a short course in special needs assistant training. Between 10 weeks and 3 months, depending on the type. Students are required to attend a class one day or evening per week to take a classroom course. There are also options for distance learning and blended learning. Children with special needs and SNA skills are just a few of the topics covered.
Enrollment is restricted to students who have completed the Level 4 or Leaving Certificate, and/or have relevant work and life experiences. Students must also complete a work placement module to earn the QQI Level 5 Certificate.
What Does An SNA’s Average Day Involve?
An SNA’s primary responsibility is to provide support and advice to kids with special needs and disabilities. The goal of becoming an SNA is to promote inclusivity. They work with teachers to ensure that children with special needs have access to all aspects of the curriculum, including PE and technology.
The SNA’s regular day-to-day responsibilities include, but are not limited to:
- Aiding the teacher in the preparation of teaching materials
- Assisting children and providing vital support
- Ensuring that the children’s physical, social, and emotional needs are satisfied
- Working with children both in and out of the classroom
- Assisting kids with their hygiene
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